House Ag Committee Completes Farm Bill Markup

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture completed its markup of the Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024 (Farm Bill) on May 24, 2024, passing the proposed legislation 33-21. Four Democrats, Reps. Don Davis (D-NC), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Eric Sorensen (D-IL.), and Yadira Caraveo (D-CO), voted in favor.

The timing of the Farm Bill’s introduction to the House floor remains uncertain due to various substantive and logistical factors. The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry is expected to unveil its draft text, which will highlight the challenges for the bill’s final passage.
This markup follows the release of the discussion draft text by House Agriculture Committee leadership on May 17, 2024. Democrats aimed to present a unified front by opposing the draft text and supporting the Senate Agriculture leadership’s approach. Meanwhile, Republicans sought to divide the Democratic stance by including provisions favored by several Democratic committee members.

During the markup, over 50 amendments were introduced and considered. Notable amendments that were included in the final bill text passed by the committee are:

• A prohibition on using U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding for solar projects involving input from countries of concern, such as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia.

• A prohibition on school authorities purchasing seafood or poultry products from China or Russia for school lunch programs.

• Establishment of a USDA strategy on sustainable aviation fuels.

• An updated definition of agricultural hemp to include only nonintoxicating derivatives.

• Commissioning a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the prevalence of and factors contributing to the use of child labor in meat processing facilities in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).